Top 10 Moments From An Action-Packed Weekend of Track
The Boston University track never ceases to amaze us.
National records! Photo finishes! Rivalries reignited! There was plenty of high-quality track and field to follow at every level of the sport this weekend, with high school, college, and professional runners competing across the country, from Seattle to Boston and everywhere in between. CITIUS had boots on the ground at the Terrier Invitational, the Lilac Grand Prix, and the Dr. Sander Columbia Challenge. You can catch up with all our post-race interviews with the meets’ biggest stars on our YouTube channel.
We’ve done our best to round up the biggest stories and wildest results from this weekend, and once you’ve gotten caught up, stay tuned in with us all week as we gear up for our coverage of the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix featuring stars like Sydney McLaughlin, Trayvon Bromell and more.
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Here are the top 10 moments from a record-setting weekend of indoor track:
Woody Kincaid’s Record-Setting Statement
Earlier this week, word trickled out that Olympian Woody Kincaid had left Bowerman Track Club, his professional home for the last 7 years, and was training with coach Mike Smith in Flagstaff. With rumors swirling about his future, he entered the 5000m at BU’s Terrier Invitational as something of a footnote behind a highly-touted sub-13 attempt by Joe Klecker and OAC. With 400m to go, Klecker had opened up a gap and was on pace to be very close to Grant Fisher’s 11-month-old American indoor record of 12:53.73. Still, anyone who’s watched Woody race knew what was coming: with 300 meters to go, the legs came alive and the race changed and Kincaid blew past a fading Klecker with a 26-second final lap to finish in 12:51.61.
Kincaid is now the American record-holder and the fourth-fastest runner in history indoors behind some big names, and after the race, he told CITIUS it felt “vindicating” to lay down a signature performance so soon after leaving BTC. Watch the full interview below.
Aleia Hobbs Breaks 7 Seconds
It was all too easy to get swept up in all the distance action at BU and the Armory, but one of the biggest performances of the weekend was Aleia Hobbs’s breakout performance in Fayetteville, AK, where she blew away the field to win the 60-meter dash in 6.98 seconds. It was Hobbs’s first PB in the event in 5 years, the fastest time by an American in over 23 years, and the ninth-fastest mark of all time.
The other two women tied at #9 on the list? Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Elaine Thompson-Herah… pretty good company. And the season is just beginning for Hobbs: she’ll be back in action in Boston this weekend at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix. | Watch Katelyn’s recap from this weekend.
Yared Nuguse Owns The BU Track
Few people thought Galen Rupp’s indoor American record of 7:30.16 was in jeopardy this weekend, in large part because the pacesetting for the Terrier 3000m was announced as 7:37, but the BU track magic came alive in a big way for Yared Nuguse. After setting the NCAA record in the event in the same facility less than a year earlier, Nuguse showed he knows how to run fast on this track, and he did exactly that, closing his final 1600m in 3:56.95 to become the first American under 7:30 indoors. His 7:28.24 mark is #9 all-time on the indoor lists and also betters Grant Fisher’s outdoor American record by 2/10ths of a second.
Yared is headed to Millrose to run the Wanamaker mile in a few short weeks with some big goals, and he talked with CITIUS about surprising himself with his record-setting performance.
Katelyn Tuohy Builds Her Resume
All eyes were on Alicia Monson at the Dr. Sander invitational mile this weekend after her insane high-altitude workout video dropped earlier this week, but even though Monson came out of the weekend with a 4:23.55 victory and the 8th-fastest American mile run indoors of all time, it was Katelyn Tuohy who came away with the big headline, as her third-place 4:24.26 finish behind Monson and Whittni Orton Morgan broke Jenny Simpson’s 2009 collegiate record in the event.
It’s easy to forget Tuohy is still only 20 years old when the former high school phenom has notched 6 All-American finishes, two NCAA individual titles (5000m and NCAA XC), and two NCAA team titles in cross-country. Now she has the collegiate record in the mile, which is arguably not even her strongest event. Could Emily Sisson’s 5000m record indoors be the next to go?
Drew Hunter Is Back
Drew Hunter’s biggest challenge in his pro career so far has been staying healthy, but when he’s able to stack consistent training together, the prodigious talent he showed in high school reemerges and he finds himself among the best middle-distance runners in the country. The 2-time national champion was able to channel a little momentum from last season that saw him notch lifetime bests at 1500m and 1 mile into 2023, where he opened up his year with a dominant 3:55.57 victory in the mile at Dr. Sander, an indoor PB. He’ll get to measure his chops against the world’s best in a few short weeks at Millrose Games, where he’ll toe the line for the historic Wanamaker Mile.
Find out why he’s focusing on the mile and 1500m this year from his conversation with CITIUS below.
Lucia Stafford Exceeds Expectations
With a good deal of weekend hype focused on the 1000m showdown between Sage Hurta-Klecker and Ajee’ Wilson at the Armory, few eyes were focused on the race happening a few hours north, where Tokyo Olympian Lucia Stafford was taking a crack at the Canadian record of 2:37.04 set by Jenna Westaway in 2019.
Not only did she blow away the Canadian record, but she knocked an astonishing 4 seconds off her own PB to run a North American record of 2:33.75, the fastest time run indoors since Genzebe Dibaba’s 2:33.06 in 2017.
Lucia spoke with CITIUS after her race about leaving Bowerman Track Club and returning to Toronto, where she’s guided by her high school and university coach at the University of Guelph.
Drew Bosley Keeps NAU On Top
If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that no one currently sitting atop a record board should get too comfortable. Yared Nuguse’s NCAA record in the 3000m didn’t even reach its first birthday before Drew Bosley of Northern Arizona University knocked a few more seconds off the mark with his 7:36.42. He probably owes Nuguse and former teammate Luis Grijalva a beer or two, however, as he did it in the same race that Nuguse took down the national record with 2200m of pacing help from Grijalva after his 3:53 mile earlier in the day.
Enjoy the entertaining conversation Bosley had with CITIUS after his record-setting performance, including his truly wild answer to a question about his facial hair choices.
Abby Steiner Loves The 400m
Abby Steiner made a name for herself in 2022 as a 200-meter specialist, setting NCAA records and winning NCAA titles both indoors and out en route to making the U.S. team for the World Athletic Championships in the event. But she’s also shown incredible range over the last year, finishing 2nd in the 60m at NCAAs last year and splitting an incredible 48.9 on Kentucky’s 4x400m at NCAAs outdoors.
This weekend, she again flexed her strength with a world-leading* 50.59 victory in the 400m, a sign that Steiner’s first full year as a pro doesn’t mean she’s afraid to hit it hard early in the season. The longer she goes without running her “main” event, the more we’re excited to see just how fast she can go when she does.
Once again, the controversial decision by World Athletics to only publish performance lists from events on its own competition calendar means that Steiner’s 50.59 is not listed as a world lead because she ran it at an NCAA meet that is not on their calendar.
Andy Powell’s Squad Puts On A Clinic
Intrasquad races at home meets rarely rise to the level of a top-10 moment, but it’s not often 8 men on one team break 4 minutes in the mile - and certainly unprecedented at the NCAA level. The Husky squad led by NCAA champ Joe Waskom squeezed 8 men (with grad transfer Sam Ellis running unattached) between 3:51.90 and 3:59.55, re-igniting an old debate and certainly making UW the hardest DMR relay team in the country to make.
Ajee’ Wilson Keeps The Streak Alive
Ajee’ Wilson’s late addition to the 1000m field at the Dr. Sander Invitational was a big source of the hype around the meet in New York, especially with the prospect of seeing Wilson line up against a red-hot Sage Hurta-Klecker and possibly target the American record of 2:34.19 by Jen Toomey. Hurta-Klecker got out hard, hitting 600m in 1:32.66, but ultimately it was Wilson’s conservative approach that won the day, with the veteran indoor track racer sliding around Hurta-Klecker in the final meters to snag the victory in 2:35.97.
Wilson has finished first in every race she’s started in the Armory since 2013 and has not lost a race indoors since 2018 + it’s easy to forget she’s only 28 years old because she’s been so good for so long. Moving toward Millrose, USAs, and the outdoor season, it’s great to see Wilson starting the year as close to the top of her game as ever.
BONUS: Keely Hodgkinson Runs Indoor 600m WR
While we focused on the domestic scene, over in Manchester, UK, Keely Hodgkinson reminded the world why she’s the only runner in the world right now to truly challenge World and Olympic champ Athing Mu over 800 meters. She ran her 600m in 1:23.41, knocking 0.03 off the world indoor record (we mentioned this on the podcast and we’ve decided no more “world best” talk from us – we’re “world record” people.) and openly talking about targeting Caster Semenya’s outdoor 1:21.77 world record. And like Mu, she’s still got an incredible career ahead of her - she’ll turn 21 years old while competing at the 2023 European Indoor Championships in early March.
Hope you enjoyed our recap. We’ll do a full deep dive on these performances and offer up our opinions/commentary in an episode of This Week In Track and Field on the CITIUS MAG Podcast and YouTube channel. Let us know if we missed anything that you think should be highlighted.
🙏 David Melly (@DavidMellyRuns)
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